Monday, February 21, 2011

Visiting Schools in China

I took this picture today at Tsinghua International School (THIS) while the director, Martha Ortiz showed us around. These students were discussing phases of the moon with their teacher, but you can also see that at least one class studies simple machines (what is the IMA of this pulley system?). THIS prides itself on a constructivist atmosphere with a lot of hands-on learning. We also saw students playing keyboards, guitars, saxophone, and clarinet in a creative music class, many examples of student artwork, and analysis of natural disasters worldwide. I wanted to find the students who created the timelines and maps of the Mississippi floods of 1993 and talk to them about the more recent Iowa floods. I felt like I would be able to have a meaningful conversation with them about the causes and effects.

On the same campus, Tsinghua High School has a very different feel. In its second year, THIS meets the needs of students holding foreign passports residing in Beijing. Tsinghua High School is for Chinese Nationals and has ninety years of history. Located on the campus of Tsinghua University, these students are among China's best and brightest. It's no wonder though, when they attend school for almost 49 weeks per year from 8 am to 4:30 pm. Class sizes are much larger, about 40 compared to 14 at THIS. Students wear uniforms and stand to answer questions, but they giggle and joke just like teenagers everywhere. What a fun and educational day!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with the pictures! Looking forward to reading more interesting posts. :-)